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I’ve been doing some further digging about this. I’m getting a feeling that there are huge disagreements between the city authorities and the port authority. It also seems the the port authority is an independent authority and that the city has few, if any, controls over it.

Anyway, reading the port authority’s website there’s an interesting FAQ section. Just to summarise some of the statements in it, the port authority says:

  • the large ships transiting the Giudecca canal do not endanger buildings. “Assessments show that the transit of large ships does not exacerbate the existing wave motion caused by ordinary traffic (motorboats, public transport and other boats).”;
  • the port handled 1.9m passengers in 2009. (I”m not sure if that includes ferry passengers, and day cruise passengers as well as turnround cruises passengers).

Here’s a link to the FAQ page.

I’ve also found that an agreement was reached in January between the city and the port to develop the new access to the cruise terminal I was blogging about in my previous post. Under this plan cruise ships would enter the lagoon via the southern entrance, and would transit up the current cargo ship channel almost as far as the berths and quays at Maghera on the mainland. Shortly before reaching that point they would head north-eastwards towards the city and cruise terminal. This would be via a new channel which would need to be dredged and maintained after that. I’ve seen estimates of €30m, even €40m, for the cost of that, and of course I’m sure that there will be discussion and argument about the route this channel will take through the lagoon. However, it’s suggested that this channel could be ready by the end of this year; if this happens, then from 2013 cruise ships would no longer be sailing past St Marks.

2 Responses to “Cruising into Venice – or not: Part 2”

  1. Costa Marcos says:

    It’s possible that the FAQ ‘transit of large ships…’ might be a little disingenuous on the part of the Venice port. The cruise ships do travel at a snails pace, and generate little wake. (BTW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6ygKGCGfPE is a great watch and listen). But a large amount of dredging goes on to keep the channel in Giudecca canal deep enough for large vessels and this causes a lot of turbulence and shifting of sediment.

    • Tom says:

      So you’re saying that any damage to the Giudecca channel and surrounding area might be due as much to the dredging of the channel for the cruise ships, as to the cruise ships themselves? That’s an interesting thought! Thank you for suggesting it.

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